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My ISP has a Tx/Rx bandwidth cap for residential customers and a rather expensive per-bit fee for any use over the bandwidth limit. The basic service I have has decent speeds (1Mbps/512kbps) which makes it relatively easy to go over their mandated bandwidth limit. For example: If I download a Linux .iso I have used close to a 1/4 of my available bandwidth for a whole month.

I'd like to stretch my available bandwidth by building a caching web proxy; but generally web proxies gain their bandwidth savings where you have hundreds of clients all requesting the same webpage. Would their be any benefit in terms of bandwidth reduction to running a web proxy like Squid for five clients?

Can anyone recommend something (a proxy or otherwise) that I can do on my end to stretch my available bandwidth? As a clarification I'm not interested in QoS or bandwidth monitoring (I already have both), nor am I interested in enforcing "behavior-modifying" policies such as blocking Content Delivery Networks or doing any Layer-7 aware filtering or QoS down throttling. I'm just trying to get as much "internet" out of my 5GBs of Tx/Rx bandwidth usage a month.

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Very interesting problem. I have the same problem with satellite and am very interested in proposed solutions. Even with just 5, any savings adds up faster than you would think. Just running a DNS server saves me some, and gains speed. Even changing browser settings so that new pages are not automatically updated, and increasing the cache size, will also help. –  Abraxas Jul 31 '11 at 22:08

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Any savings that you would get would be beucase you would be accessing the same information more than one time. While this is possible for web pages, the vast majority or web pages have no real impact on your bandwidth (<1MB in all probability).

Even for pages that you want to view more than once, they may have changed in the interim, and therefore your cache is not that valuable, even if you did build one.

In short, I don't think that in your situation it will be worth anything.

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If 5 GB's is being used up, it can't all be web pages. There has to be something larger that would benefit from caching. And even web pages, by saving a few MB's, can add up to enough to count. Additional bandwidth is much more expensive and any savings at all is helpful. –  Abraxas Jul 31 '11 at 22:58
    
Right, but caching the linux.iso file for example is not needed, and will not be helpful, as you won't download it more than once. And as for why not cache websites, generally if you hit the back button in your browser its pulling from a cache. Other than that, it is unlikely that you will be loading a significant number of static pages repeatedly. –  soandos Jul 31 '11 at 23:01
    
CDNs are what really eat up the bandwidth and as you rightly pointed out there's no way to cache dynamically generated content using a proxy. –  kce Aug 1 '11 at 1:20

Since you're asking for "anything", I mention Opera and Opera Turbo. By using that browser and that function, Opera will download and compress images, etc, before sending the page through to you. It will lower your used bandwidth for browsing, but it has to be said that this part of your browsing is probably vanishingly small.

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You wouldn't save any really, proxies relay data so it's going to end up with same/worse results than without.

Web based proxies will almost double the download size as it loads the proxies site then it gets socket data from the proxy which is > no proxy.

Other proxies do pinging etc and some act the same as a web based, so it's really not worth wasting time with.

But there are other ways, mischievous ways about extending your cap.

One way in particular, which I've tried myself is downloading something continuously during the reset times which for me was every 4hrs. So I had torrents etc running for days on end and I was never capped.

Try it out, when you almost hit the cap start downloading and but be careful that your PC doesn't go into hibernation or sleep mode as this will in most cases activate your network cards power saving mode, which shuts off your internet and leads to your cap again.

Anyway good luck, don't waste your time with proxies, leech someone elses internet or keep continous load on your network. :P

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